3 Reasons to Bet on Duke to Win the College Basketball Title

Posted by Peter Boysen on November 22, 2016 in

Back in the spring, Duke emerged as the consensus early favorite to win the national championship in March 2017. At that point, it was the roster that got the prognosticators excited — Grayson Allen was coming back, as well as four of the top five scorers on the team. They also had the top two prospects, as rated by Draft Express, coming in as Harry Giles and Jayson Tatum were set to join the team. Now that we have seen the first couple of weeks of the 2016-17 regular season unfold, we still like Duke to go a long way, if not all the way. Let’s check out some reasons to pick the Blue Devils to bring home the title. Take a look at all of our college basketball betting picks for the college basketball season as well as the other major sports.

3 Reasons to Bet on Duke to Win the College Basketball Title

Don’t worry about Jayson Tatum

Yes, he was going to come in and start right away, filling that forward slot quite nicely. However, he went down with a foot injury in late October, and Marques Bolden joined him on the bench. However, Luke Kennard has stepped in quite nicely to fill that void. In the Blue Devils’ 75-65 win over #21 Rhode Island, Kennard hit double figures for the fifth game in a row. He has gone 13 for 25 from downtown this season, and he has also been a part of the team’s distribution of the ball, given that the team does not have a true point. With Grayson Allen also hobbled by some foot issues, Kennard has taken on his role quite nicely.

Don’t worry about that loss to Kansas

Yes, the seventh-ranked Jayhawks bring a lot of weapons, but if you’re playing your best basketball in November, that means that you’re going to head home early in March. So what can you expect to see from Duke this year? Look more at that win over Rhode Island — a talented squad that many anticipate to make a deep run at March Madness. All five Duke starters found double figures, and Amile Jefferson’s 17 points and 15 rebounds were the key in controlling the paint, an area in which Duke has shown some of its rare flaws over the past seasons.

Don’t forget about Frank Jackson

In the Tip-off Tournament in Connecticut, Duke knocked off Penn State by a 78-68 score, and on a night when sophomore Chase Jeter left in the first half with an ankle injury and Tony Carr simply could not miss for Penn State, freshman Frank Jackson — who has not gotten some of the same press as the other members of Duke’s incoming recruiting class — poured in 17 points. With Kennard and Allen shooting poorly early on, Jackson put in 11 before halftime, showing just how a Duke team with a short bench still manages to show significant depth.